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Starting F550 Build and Have Questions

Discussion in 'Other DJI Multi-Rotors' started by rebelyellNC, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. royster

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    Great stuff here! So glad she flies & sound, that is surprising too
    Flight times, not so good, do hope different batteries get you to at least equal Phantom times, u know?
     
  2. rebelyellNC

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    Hey royster, yeah, I was upset about flight time with one 2200 mAh Phantom battery, so strapped on two in parallel and got over seven minutes. I just did some research on low C ratings and how they help the weight problem, while still supplying enough amps. I ordered a Turnigy 8000 mAh 4s 10C from HobbyKing Wednesday. Tracking says it will be here Monday by 4:30 PM. Looking for much better time out of it.

    Also another update on gear. I was concerned about the single solder point for accessories on the lower deck, and definitely didn't want to undo 24 screws from all six arms on the top deck just to access that main power solder connection. Not to mention existing wires trying to pop up every time I heated the joint. So I got a power distribution board from Amazon that includes an XT60 connector, a two pin header for slide on connectors, and FOUR bullet connections around the four sides of the board. I plan to mount it on the bottom deck underside at the rear, near the existing main power connection and just bring the power leads (minus the XT60 connector) down to supply the board. Then I 'll have only one solder point on the top surface of the bottom deck and won't need to access it for anything any more. The PMU V2 that's already connected to this point will just come down and reconnect to the new distribution board. Then when I add my vTx and iOSD mini, they will connect to the new distribution board.

    I'll post pics when I get it all hooked up. Right now, I'm just wanting that battery. BTW, a note on C ratings and prices. A 6600 mAh 4s 60C was $73 and the 8000 mAh 4s 10C was $43, both at HobbyKing. The C rating has a LOT to do with weight and price, which I didn't know before. I'll post the new AUW and flight time as soon as I know.

    Oh yeah, here's a pic of the Power Distribution Board:

    81kZ0emRMnL._SL1500_.jpg
     
  3. Darren Helms

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    Have you had trouble getting motor screws back in correctly?
     
  4. rebelyellNC

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    Hey Darren, first of all, welcome to the forum :cool:! As to your question, I'm not sure what you mean. I haven't taken the motor screws out at any time, so there was no need to get them "back in" correctly. If I have misunderstood your intent, please correct me. I want to be able to help anyone considering one of these builds. The F550 sure is awesome!
     
  5. rebelyellNC

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    OK, the new battery is charged and I'm freaking in disbelief. I had read a number of threads here and on other forums, touting 20+ minutes with an F550. For some reason, I just couldn't believe it could really happen. Well, I just finished my first flight with the new battery and I didn't look at my stopwatch until the skids touched the ground. I still can't believe it: TWENTY MINUTES, TWENTY ONE SECONDS!!! :eek::eek::eek: WHAT??!!! Yep, the old Casio G-Shock don't lie, 20:21. I read another thread about getting over twenty minutes with a 10,000 mAh battery and thought it must be a misprint. But this was with a Turnigy Multistar 8000 mAh 4s 10c. I was a little concerned about the "c" rating being so low, but found out after some research, that high c ratings add to the cost and the weight. I was afraid I would lose some "punch" with a low c rating, but man this thing screams into the sky, even during first warning level there was still plenty of punch. BTW, the voltage settings are First Level: 14.6v, Second Level: 13.6v, which is when it landed. It stayed in second level warning long enough for me to descend and navigate to a good landing area. I chose 13.6v as the AutoCrash, ...er, I mean AutoLand voltage, because I read you shouldn't drop below 3.4v per cell, and for a 4s, that's 13.6v.

    Once I get telemetry, I can probably stretch that a little if I get into trouble being too far out. With my other bird (sig), I turned off the warnings altogether because I had telemetry on my FPV monitor. I plan to do the same with this one, but have to wait a bit for the funds to replenish. OK, so I guess that's it then. I'll probably not add to this thread unless I get replies, but judging from the number of reads, a lot of folks are interested in the F550 Flame Wheel. It's a real hoot to assemble and outright exciting to fly, so go gitcha one! :D:D:D

    Quick edit for those of you wondering about the circumstances surrounding flight time. This was NOT a hover test. It was probably somewhere around 70% aggressive maneuvers and 30% or less of hover. By aggressive maneuvers, I mean full throttle climbs, banked turns, and full throttle forward flight. This also occurred at a temp of 60 degrees and no wind at the testing altitude of approximately 200 to 300 feet. I don't have telemetry yet, so the altitude is an estimate.

    For those interested in battery specs, the Multistar 8000 mAh was quite surprising, considering its weight. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the balance, and that could be due to the charger. All I had to charge the new battery with, was the original P1.1.1 charger, a BC20-4. The highest charge rate allowed is 3 amps, so it should have taken 2.6 hours to charge an 8 amp battery, plus it was already at 30% for shipping. However, I was quite surprised to find out it took just two minutes short of SIX HOURS to charge this monster. And then when I checked it with the voltage checker, the first two cells were very close, but number 3 and 4 were quite out of balance. I'm hoping it was the wimpy charger and that the new one (arriving today) will get this thing back in better balance. The new charger is an Imax B6AC+ 50W AC/DC Dual Power Balance Charger, which is favorably reviewed here and on other sites. So I'm looking for good things later today.
     
    #25 rebelyellNC, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  6. KBinFL.

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    Glad to see this post, im new to the drones, but have flown rc planes, & crashed them..Have a P3s, and like it alot, I want to build this F550, but can I pair it with my current transmitter., its a Hitech 7 channel ,holds like 20 different models, and has Helicopter functions. Thanks for any info.
     
  7. rebelyellNC

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    Hey KB, I'm glad you decided to investigate building the F550, it's a real thrill to see this thing fly. As for the transmitter, you would need to know what type receiver is in your current P3S, and research it from there. I have an old P1 transmitter and was thinking about using it, paired with the same receiver that was in the P1.1.1., but ended up going with a new DJI DT7/DR16 setup. So if your Hitech will pair with the P3S receiver as in your current bird, I would certainly think you could put the same type receiver in the F550 and be off and running, ...or um, ...flying. I have read some posts that say a transmitter can bind with several receivers, but a receiver can only bind with one transmitter. I don't know how credible that information is, but it's out there if you search it.

    BTW, concerning the flight time on my previous post, I'm now getting the following times with second level warning (AutoCrash) set at:
    13.6v = 20:21
    12.8v = 24:23
    12.4v = 27:57
    Keep in mind that this is with a 4s 8000 mAh battery and the current AUW is 1924g. I have pretty much decided to keep the 12.8v setting, since that allows for 3.2v per cell at trigger. I just got my FPV gear in this week, so I'll be mounting all that and updating these times. Also, with telemetry readout of voltage on the screen, I'll be able to judge when I need to land much better than having to watch for a flashing LED. So once the FPV is active, I'll disable the voltage warning in the Assistant software. Sure don't want this puppy landing where IT wants too, and not where I want it to.

    Good luck with the tx/rx setup and please let us know how it turns out. :cool:
     
  8. KBinFL.

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    Thanks for the info, as this will be my first drone build,, the P3s is already paired with the dji trans that came with it new. But opening up the P3s will give me insight on what to build on the F550. If the Hitech trans wont work I will look at what dji has.Thanks again.
     
  9. rebelyellNC

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    KBinFL. likes this.
  10. KBinFL.

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    That just might do it, Thanks for all your help, when I get back i will begin this project along with this water floats ive been looking at for the P3 , Ive got some carbon fiber arrows,, fab some floats, give it a whirl, been wondering how close to a gator I can fly..theres a lake just a 100 yrds away or so.
     
  11. rebelyellNC

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    OK guys, just finished installing and testing ALL the FPV gear, so she's finally completed. Well, as most of you know already, a DIY drone is never really completed. There's always more "stuff" to buy, but for now, it's done and ready to fly where I can sit in the "pilot's seat" for a bird's eye view. Here's a few pics of the final version with the FPV gear. Sorry about all the tools in the pics, but I know where everything is, so wifey better not "clean up" around the work area :eek:.


    20170316_194812.jpg

    Sorry about the focus, these old hands ain't as steady as they used to be. Anyway, the shot above is the underside (duh!) of the bird, showing the two power distribution boards. The larger one is just that, a PDB with no BEC or smarts, it just gives solder points for flight battery connections and additions. The smaller board is a PDB for 3s or 4s battery and it includes six points for flight battery voltage, as well as an internal BEC for 5v and 12v. I'm using the 5v connection here to continually charge the Trackimo battery, so I don't have to remove it to charge it from the USB charger. This way, it's always ready to go. The Firefly Q6 camera includes a charging circuit in the A/V cable, to keep the internal battery charged from the flight battery. As amazing as this 4K camera is, the battery life during flights is reportedly dismal, so now it will remain at full charge always, ...no FPV surprises :eek::eek:.



    20170316_194946.jpg


    In this topside view above, you can see the Flysight Black Mamba 2000mw video transmitter. Can't wait to try out and range test on that puppy :D.


    20170316_195043.jpg


    Finally, in this pic you can see the Firefly Q6 4K video action cam. The mounting device is homemade from a piece of aluminum door threshold, with the side strips machined off and bent at a 20 degree downward viewing angle. I tried the Mobius incline kit, but didn't like the fit. I may go with a custom two axis gimbal from CopterLab, designed especially for the Firefly Q6 at some point, but for now, this will work fine for the type of FPV flying I do.




    So I guess that's it. Build over and time to fly. BTW, the AUW has only increased by 229 grams with the addition of the camera, mount, vTx, PDB, antenna, and all the wiring. So it now stands at 2153 grams, well under the 2400 max takeoff weight suggested by DJI. Thanks for your comments and interest in this thread. I was shocked to see over 900 views in the short time it's been up :eek:. If anyone is interested in building the F550 Flame Wheel and has questions or problems, you can PM me or just post here and other can learn from the solutions. I'm indebted to the members here at Phantom Pilots forum for their advice and expertise in helping me with the pitfalls and potholes surrounding this experience.

    Later... :cool:
     
  12. Terry Evans

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    Wow! I love it. What's your flight time, now that you have flown it?
    Terry
     
  13. rebelyellNC

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    Terry, current flight time BEFORE the FPV equipment was added was 24 minutes 23 seconds, and that's from motor spin up to touchdown with second voltage warning set at 12.8v in NAZA Assistant. Now that I can monitor my voltage through telemetry, I won't have to rely on AutoCrash, ..er, ...I mean AutoLand :D. So long distance flights await on the horizon.
     
  14. royster

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    I;m interested in how your camera/video flights go, 24 minutes before FPV gear, , wow, that is exciting!
    Sounds like the 550 is very responsive, flight characteristics of a Phantom,? you think faster than the Phantom, or hard to tell at this point?
    By your posts, you have certainly gained an understanding on all the various parts & pieces these machines require, my weakness for sure, build looks to be very exciting!!
    Great posts rebel, thank you so much for all this info!!
     
  15. rebelyellNC

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    Hey royster, you're welcome, no sweat, it was a joy to be sure.

    IT IS! Hard acceleration is quick and sure, braking is fast, but I was most amazed at switching from GPS to Atti and the increase in acceleration. You can actually hear the motors rev up and now that I have telemetry, I'll be able to see how much faster it is in Atti than GPS. Only thing is, and if you've done much Atti flying you know this, you lose a little altitude as soon as you switch into Atti, but that's easy enough to correct.

    Much more nimble and quicker to respond than the Phantom, at least from my perspective and limited flights so far.

    IT IS! So the question remaining, is how long before you pull the trigger??? :D:D:D
     
  16. syotr

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    I think 12.8 volts is too low for 4s batteries. You will shorten the life of them, running them this low. I know that the Multistar batteries have a lot of sag and they will bounce back up when you remove the load, but this seem really too low. My rule is to check the resting voltage about 10 minutes after landing. If it has not come back up to 14.8 volts, then I will set my voltage warning higher.
     
  17. rebelyellNC

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    Thanks for the advice, syotr. I have read quite a bit on Lipos and decided on the 12.8v setting for the AutoCrash because that was 3.2v per cell. Most of the stuff I have read said that 3.3v per cell was pretty much the lowest conservative setting, but I wanted to test flight time, so I went a tenth lower. Now that I have my telemetry wired up, I can monitor the voltage live and bring her home around 3.4v or so. But thanks again for weighing in.
     
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